Last week, you learned that smart printers recognize the need for change.
If you’re still with us and reading this, congratulations on being a smart printer and embracing what comes next, which is…
Once a smart printer recognizes the need for change, they need to do something about it, right? Otherwise, it’s of no benefit at all. But you can’t just start running down any perceived path to victory. After all, what if you bolt in the wrong direction? That’s why smart printers understand the target they’re aiming for and pinpoint the direction they’re headed.
In the world of business, that starts with knowing and understanding your audience.
According to Social Media Examiner, 71% of business owners believe that
audience awareness brings significant benefits to the company.
Why An Audience Matters to a Smart Printer
An audience is the most important business asset to a smart printer.
Above anything else in their businesses, the one thing smart printers will protect at all costs is their audience. If a press breaks down, their best employee quits, or a competitor moves in across the street, they know they can adjust and rebuild. But, if they were to lose their audience, they could lose their business.
If you think like a smart printer and view your audience as the one, irreplaceable asset in your print business, you will also make better decisions. You’ll begin to view every decision through the lens of “How will this affect my audience?” For example, if a piece of equipment breaks down and creates subpar print quality or an employee is coming in late or speaking to customers poorly, you’ll address it. Why? Because if you don’t, both of these could cause you to lose your audience.
An audience guides a smart printer’s business direction.
Every business owner (including print owners), understands that people are more than willing to share their opinion about a product or service.
The thing smart printers have determined is: whose voice they are listening to.
By knowing and understanding their audience, smart printers know which voices to pay full attention to and which voices they can ignore because they’re not a part of their target market.
Here’s an example: Let’s say you get a horrible review from a college student. This student was upset because you did ABC or didn’t do XYZ. Before you start bolting in the wrong direction and turn your print company upside down to accommodate or fix this one review, instead, (as a smart printer) you’d run it through the filter of your target audience. Is this student your target audience? Is what he/she asking for important for all of your target audience? If not, ignore that voice and move on.
Smart printers realize that knowing their audience in this way will save them time, effort, and money because they’re not wasting these precious resources on people who would never buy their product anyway. As Seth Godin says, “Not everyone is your customer. The key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
3 Things Smart Printers Know and Understand About Their Audience
1. Their buyer
Remember, “everyone with a pulse” is not a good strategy.
Smart printers can tell you who their audience is and, even more importantly, who their audience is not.
Armed with this critical beacon of information, smart printers are able to determine how to spend their resources most effectively. If your focus is on B2B, then your resources should be spent on the tools and solutions that help you foster that repeat business. If you’re focused on B2C, your strategy will be different.
Smart printers take the time to craft a buyer persona by putting down on paper who their ideal buyers are, determining things such as:
- Hobbies or interests
- Stage of Life
If you’d like to get started, make a list of your favorite customers and what it is that you appreciate about them. Find the commonalities and begin building your persona from there.
2. What Your Company Has to Offer
Beyond knowing who their audience is,
Smart printers understand who their print companies are and what they have to offer.
When you’re confident in your offering, you can stay the course more easily and not be swayed by every request that’s made to you. Again, this goes back to stop trying to please everyone. Smart printers embrace what they do and politely decline the things that (even though they could do them) aren’t beneficial to their overall target.
To help you narrow in your print company’s offering, consider the following:
- What pain points or problems does your print company solve?
- Who are you currently serving best? (B2B or B2C)
- How are you different/better than your competitor?
- What’s your one thing or the thing that makes you unique?
Remember that what you do will determine what you’re known for. So, what are your current business actions making you known for? Make sure you’re hitting positive targets like integrity, honesty, timeliness, and quality rather than things like bait-and-switch sales tactics, poor customer service, or lack of follow-through.
3. The Importance of Ongoing Research
Once smart printers understand who their audience is and what they have to offer them, they continue to keep this data goldmine fresh.
Smart printers do their research to continually keep their eyes on the right targets.
Want to give it a try? Start by exploring your current audience. Gather essential information by asking critical questions in customer surveys or through follow-up phone calls and emails. Questions such as:
- How did you hear about our print business?
- What led you to choose our print company?
- What do you like about the products/services we provide?
- What can we improve upon?
- Did anything almost prevent you from purchasing with our print company?
Then, begin to do a little competitor and industry research to make sure your finger is on the pulse of your audience at all times.
Here’s an example: if you want to see what web pages and/or topics are performing best for your competitors, use a tool such as SimilarWeb. Or, for industry news, stay in the know with popular industry sites such as Printing Impressions, WhatTheyThink, or the National Print Owners Association (NPOA).
Armed with the information you gathered from these sources, you (and smart printers like you) can set off in the correct direction, towards the right target, and keep from veering off course.